I am a believer, in books at least. For me, fiction makes the world real.
James Salter may have said it best when he was asked why : "To write? Because all of this is going to vanish. The only thing left will be the prose and the poems, the books, what is written down. Man is very fortunate to have invented the book."
After years of writing and revising, piling up manuscript drafts, and yes, lots of rejection, it is a wonder when you finally see the book you've spent half a lifetime imagining and bringing to life, that very book stacked so nicely in the window of your neighborhood bookstore - in this case, Malaprop's in downtown Asheville.
For all the folks who can't drive to Asheville, you can also order "The Half-Life of Home" from my Sacramento publisher, Casperian Books, for a rather nice price.
Order your copy here.
The winter solstice seems appropriate a time to be starting a new blog. Tomorrow there's a sliver more daylight as we head into a new year and the launch of my second novel The Half Life of Home, (Coming courtesy of the fine folks at Casperian Books.) But I'm staking out my corner of the cyberspace to let readers know about upcoming events and share some thoughts.
Putting a new book out into the world is always a lark and an adventure. At these moments, I go back to one of my favorite writers - James Salter - and his thoughts from his memoir Burning the Days:
"When was I happiest, the happiest in my life? Difficult to say. Skipping the obvious, perhaps setting off on a journey, or returning from one. In my thirties, probably, and at scattered other times, among them the weightless days before a book was published and occasionally when writing it. It is only in books that one finds perfection, only in books that it cannot be spoiled. Art, in a sense, is life brought to a standstill, rescued from time The secret of making it is simple: discard everything that is good enough."
It's also nice to start a fresh page or a new blog with a bit of good news.
The good folks at The New Southerner have just put up an excerpt from the novel The Half-Life of Home as part of their 2012 literary contest. Thanks to Bobbi Buchanan and the final fiction judge Silas House for the honor. Check out the handsome online magazine at www.newsoutherner.com. I'll be in Louisville, Ky, for a reading Jan 12 with the other contest winners. Looking forward to a drive into the Bluegrass State.
Novelist, journalist, aficionado of all things Appalachian.